Supermodel Helena Christensen And Iconic Photographer Mary Ellen Mark Share Their Inspirations

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Mary Ellen Mark is a photographer who needs no introduction. She has been creating her remarkable portfolio of images since the 1960′s. Outside of her notable street photography work, she has also found herself photographing movie sets and countless publications such as Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone. Helena Christensen, a former Victoria’s Secret Angel and supermodel extraordinaire is also a talented photographer whose work you can find gracing the pages of Elle, Marie Claire, and Nylon magazines. [Read more...]

How X-Men: Days of Future Past Quicksilver’s incredible Slow-Mo Sequance Was Made

Have you seen X-Men: Days of Future Past yet? Even if you are not into science fiction that much, this is a wonderful movie to start with. It has a strong plot, good character building and (ok…) some mutants going back and forward in time…. (Ok, I’m a fanboy)

One of the most notable scenes in the movie has to do with a mutant called Quicksilver’s (Evan Peters). He is Marvel’s twin of DC Flash meaning he can move really, really fast. So fast actually, that it almost looks like bullet time…

In that specific scene Quicksilver has to get himself, Magneto, Wolverine and prof. Xavier out of a maximum security facility. Of course, this was the perfect chance to have some fun so Quicksilver knocks the hats off the security, makes them slap each other and tastes some of the food that is flying around. Wait a second.. Bullet Time? It may be quite interesting to see how they shot it.

Interestingly, it did not involve an array of cameras but a ton of CGI and a few huge fans instead.

[via wired]

The GaffGun Straighten, Tapes and Secures Cables In Seconds

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If you ever had a set with lots of cables you know how important it is to have them all secured. Even with the best insurance plan you really don’t want anyone stumbling over one of the ‘bumps’. In the ‘good’ scenario, they will stumble curse a little and continue, in the medium scenario they will fall. And in the worse scenario they will take down your $20,000 lights.

So what do you do? You get down on your hands and knees gaff like crazy. Sadly, Gaffing a cable to the floor, while classified as grantwork, is not an easy task. It involves tapping small bits of gaff on the cable and then going back and reapplying gaff to the whole thing.

And this is what the GaffGun is here to solve. The GaffGun is somewhat of a packaging tape dispenser on steroids. You drop a Gaffer roll in the thing and simply roll it on the floor. It has rails to guide the cables and securely gaff them to the floor. This means that it is almost trivial to run cables in a straight line.

[Read more...]

New Timelapse Technique In Boston Layer-Lapse Shows Us Daylight In The Middle Of The Night

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Photographer and filmaker, Julian Tryba, is a big proponent of the do-it-yourself movement, having gone so far as to build a robot that follows people around and photographs them using information sent from their smartphones. But, that robot thing? It’s cool and all but, for Tryba that was college play. Now, he’s expanding his creativity through innovation by developing an interesting new way to edit timelapse footage. Drawing a little inspiration from Einstein’s relative theory, Tryba is using a technique he’s dubbed “layer-lapse” that’s similar to timeslice photography. [Read more...]

Sekonic Shows Their One-In-The-World Prototype Of The C700 Spectrometer

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Have you ever had to balance LED lights? If you have, you know it is a nightmare. For once not all 6500K are created equal and even if all the LEDs on your setup are set to 6500K, they light output is slightly different. The other thing is that regardless of the color temperature, LED lights (and other pulsing lights, such as fluorescents) do not show a consistent light pattern.

This inconsistent light pattern means that a graph showing the color signature of an LED light may have spikes on certain colors. (have you ever heard on the horrible green spike?). Here is the thing though, (in general) the color meters that we currently have are not built to measure those color spikes, they assume that the signature is linear and sample the light color at wide intervals. Those wide intervals may cause the light meter to miss a spike (or a valley).

This is where the Sekonic C700 comes into play. We had a chat with Sekonic International sales director, Lorenzo Gasperini and he explained to us how the C700 is coping with those issues. There are some good news. Apparently, Sekonic rushed production and only had 2 of the C700 units produced, and even those were not guaranteed to be the final models. And there is nothing more exciting than putting your hands on a one of a kind unit :). And yes, the screen was stellar :)

[Read more...]

Quadcopter Racing and the Future of Cinema

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It seems like as soon as quadcopters came onto the market, photographers began adapting them for more than just disastrous fun on Christmas afternoon. Since then, hobbyists, photography enthusiasts, and even corporate giants (let’s hear it for Amazon!) alike have been putting them to multiple uses, both business and pleasure.

AIRganoy, a “quadcopter racing fanatic association” based in eastern France, holds regular events for remote control pilots, including races like the one below that would seem more at home on a Lucasfilm set. The contestants race through the forest along a pre-marked course where, as seen in the video, “eating dirt” is a bit more reality than euphemism. Each copter is equipped with a video camera which sends a live feed back to the pilot, allowing them to navigate the treacherous, obstacle-laden course.

[Read more...]

Train Kills One Photographer And Injures Two More While Taking Photos On Train Rails

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Apparently the risk taken while walking on/near railroads does not match the need for taking beautiful photos.

One man was killed and another two injured while taking photos on a train trestle in Santa Barbara.

According to Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason the 4 people foreign students were standing on a trestle which bridges a coastal canyon taking pictures. when an Amtrak train came near they tried to get off the trestle, but did not make it.

Only a month ago a wedding party escaped a close encounter with a train in what Reddit commenter city_nightowl pointed out to be more than a few isolated incidents. There have been many similar cases over the last few years:

[Read more...]

What’s Up Hong Kong? Russian Photographers Climb The China Online Center; Hack Electronic Billboard

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Russian photographers and rooftoppers, Vitaliy Raskalov and Vadim Makhorov became internet sensations when they began releasing dizzying video footage of them free climbing to insane heights. Like clear to the top of the Shanghai Tower, for example. Even in their early rooftopping days, the teams fearlessness garnered attention, helping to spread worldwide interest in the death defying trend.

[Read more...]

Backup Workflow using BitTorrent Sync and Crashplan

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Backups! We all need them, we hardly make ‘em!

Over the years, as a digital artist, I have on occasion lost bodies of work. I lost them when building a new PC, I lost them when my drive crashed, fell, burnt, and I even lost them while watching in horror as I mistakenly said yes to “are you sure you want to format drive D”?.

Data keeps piling up, and to keep everything archived we need at least double the amount of drive space.

Luckily I don’t do animation anymore so my projects aren’t that super large anymore, but I have been photographing and editing work for a couple of years now and the data pile keeps growing. Next to that I kept running out of space locally, and kept buying new drives for my Drobo to accommodate my expanding archive. The problem with new drives to store your projects is that you need to copy your data over and over, you get sloppy, you forget projects, you ignore folders, and in the end you lost some precious pictures in the transfer process.

I’m a creative artist, and even though I have OCD tendencies, I get bored with tedious tasks and mistakes are easily made.  I needed a better backup plan to safeguard my body of work, without having to spend too much time on this task.

Now there are numerous ways to maintain a backup, but I’m going to share one that has been working for me the past few years, and makes me feel secure about my data.

here’s my hardware setup:

[Read more...]

Watch The Technology Under The Plastic In Nikon Lenses

We know that lenses are some of the most innovative piece of technology around. It actually quote surprising how much technology one can cram into what once was “just a piece of glass”. But today’s lenses feature so much tech and innovation that it is scary. This promotional clip from Nikon Asia shows how each of the different lens technologies look like once you take the lens shell away and look inside it.

The music is horrible, but it gives some great understanding on how a lens actually works, including some insight into the VR mechanism.

[NIKKOR Lens Technology via iso1200]